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Big Tyre's retread solution

QUEENSLAND-BASED tyre specialist Big Tyre has come up with a clever solution for mines interested in reducing costs: it retreads, not only pneumatic tyres, but solid and puncture proofed (foam-filled) tyres as well, for a fraction of the cost of a new tyre.

Angie Tomlinson
Big Tyre's retread solution

"Puncture-proof tyres are expensive and by retreading tyres, mines preserve the investment in both the puncture proofing and the tyre," Big Tyre’s Bruce Louden said.

"Mines that have puncture proofed tyres don’t have to throw their investment in foam away when they have worn the tyre out; they can send us the whole wheel and we will rebuild the tread.

"There are a lot of companies out there that are paying to throw expensive tyres away and are not aware of the fact that we can rebuild or repair them."

An example cited was a 29.5-29 tyre (1.8m in diameter and 670mm wide). Louden said the cost of puncture proofing would be about $7700 on top of the tyre cost of $5500 for foam-filling. He said Big Tyre could retread the tyre for $3500-5700, saving 55-75% compared with a replacement puncture-proofed tyre.

Another common size, 18.00-25 (28 ply), costs about $2800 new and $3300 to puncture proof, totalling $6100. Big Tyre retreads these for $1700-3200, saving clients 40-70%.

Retreading pneumatic tyres with no puncture proofing costs less, so clients typically save 40-50% compared to the price of a new tyre, according to Louden.

Big Tyre's new facilities in Toowoomba boast a 3m-diameter autoclave where rubber is cured for rebuilding and repairing tyres. The company also offers a tyre repair service.

“Some mines are reticent to get tyres repaired so they just put on new ones. But when mines are serious about saving money, they'll discover that we can save them significant running costs through guaranteed tyre repairs and retreads,” he said.

Big Tyre also supplies new, and service exchange, solid rubber-tyred wheels for Eimco 936 loaders and trailers used in Australian longwall mines, supplying hire companies such as Brambles Coal Services and mines such as Rio Tinto’s Kestrel.

These tyres are manufactured locally in the company’s Towoomba factory and have been on the market for about six years. Published in Australia's Longwalls, September edition.

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